Kibler SMR length issue

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Dear Abbey. I bought a Kibler SMR kit about 2 years ago. .45 cal walnut stock. The kit is superb. Jim and his team are great people. I started it right away but put it aside without metal and wood finish. I’m about to start it again. I realize why I never finished it. The length has always been an issue for me. I like shorter barrels. This 46” barrel length is legitimately keeping me from seeing this as a rifle I want to grow old(er) with. Something @hanshi said in a different thread about barrel shortening struck home for me. Paraphrasing, he said “do what you must to bond with the rifle.” I agree. Do I shorten it by 6, 8 or even 10” or do I move it along to someone else and get what I really want? If I do shorten it, do I relocate the front ramrod thimble or try it as is and see if it looks ok? Thanks in advance.

Signed,

Conflicted.
 
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One thing I've noticed is people seem to "outgrow" the barrel length issue. When folks first start shooting BP they want a hawken because it's a similar length to what they're used to in modern guns. The hardcore guys that stick with it and buy nice custom rifles all want the long barrels like they were originally. Looking through any of the KRA discs it apears 44-46" barrels were the norm.
 
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Please give it a chance before you sell it. I used to feel the same way as you, mostly because I'm all of 5ft. 7in. and thought a long barrel rifle was going to be "too big a hassle" to carry and point. Turns out I was totally wrong and today one of my favorite guns is my Fusil de Chasse with its 44in. barrel! Once you have carried and shot the longer barrels you will quickly see it's not an issue.
 
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Please give it a chance before you sell it. I used to feel the same way as you, mostly because I'm all of 5ft. 7in. and thought a long barrel rifle was going to be "too big a hassle" to carry and point. Turns out I was totally wrong and today one of my favorite guns is my Fusil de Chasse with its 44in. barrel! Once you have carried and shot the longer barrels you will quickly see it's not an issue.

Keep in mind, 5’ 7” was about average during the old days and guys shot long barrels plenty! I agree totally, and am also that height.
 

MTCossack

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Dear Conflicted,
I'll send you my address and take the dilemma off your hands ;)
I'm joking, but only halfway. I'd love one of those in walnut (I'd have to look under a few couch cushions). You see, I usually have the opposite problem. I look at a gun or kit and think, "if only the barrel was a little bit longer..."
But setting aside my selfish desires that you'd pass it along to me at a reasonable discount, I really do agree with the posters above who advise you to try it out first and see how you really like it.
 
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Send that thing as is to Mr. Cossack and get him to trade or buy you a piece with a shorter barrel, that way you both will have a barrel length you prefer, and you won't be screwing up an already beautiful rifle. By the way 'Dear Abbey' would probably soil herself before pulling the trigger on a classic piece.
 
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I am getting older as well and have a beautiful John Schreit rifle I can no longer hold off hand due to barrel weight.

I bought a Kimber SMR as well (maple though) and I have to say, go ahead and finish it and shoot it before making any decisions, mine holds like a much shorter rifle due to the very thin and light barrel and wood.

You can always shorten it later if you decide to do so.
 
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I am getting older as well and have a beautiful John Schreit rifle I can no longer hold off hand due to barrel weight.

I bought a Kimber SMR as well (maple though) and I have to say, go ahead and finish it and shoot it before making any decisions, mine holds like a much shorter rifle due to the very thin and light barrel and wood.

You can always shorten it later if you decide to do so.

It does hold beautifully even at that long (to me) length.
 
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That’s a swamp barrel how is shortening it going to work out in the long run with balance and all? Just unload it you get your money back now; later you may be stuck with it if you cut the barrel IMO. It is a light gun and I guess long compared to some but it shoots like a charm and after using it you will probably never notice the length.
 

hanshi

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About that 5' 7" average, I am well below even that. I like short guns but I'll give a studious trying out to a longer barrel so's not to jump the gun. :cool:
The longest barrel I've had so far is 42".

I like the advice of of the others who posted the recommendation of finishing the rifle and spending some time shooting it before making any decision. If after a good "get acquainted" period you still want a shorter barrel then go ahead, shorten it because YOU are the only person whose opinion really matters. Don't follow anybody else's lead when you know and should have what you like.
 
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The only issue with my 46" barrel is that I had to make a strap I could tie over the back of my head rest in my 2019 Ford Ranger so the butt is on the floor and the barrel is very close the the roof. It won't lie flat across the seat!
Yeah. I just bought an EcoSport, and I have to fold the back seat down and run anything longer than my Hawken all the way up into the front seat! 🤣
Jay
 
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Good advice to finish it and try it out. I went to Dixon’s today for .454 balls for the Walker, some musket caps, a toe plate for the SMR and just because it’s my happy place. Had a nice conversation with Greg and his wife. I came home, motivated to start working from all the great guns hanging at Dixon’s. Put the SMR in the vice, went to check something on the other (finished) side of the basement, and found water had come in from the insane amount of rain we’ve been having. DRAT!!!! 2 hours of vacuuming and dehumidifier drying later, I put the toe plate in to cover the damage to the toe that I had done. I sanded some of the buttplate and toe plate to blend with the stock but I have more work to clean up my shoddy workmanship. It is fun though. image.jpg
 
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